Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The sea of stories

He could tell stories. Let's call him Shah of Blah. Whether the stories were real or not, I don't know. But they were as all stories go, magical. Avant-garde. He would weave them swiftly, in bold and colorful strokes, picking a bit of fiction from here, a bit of reality from there, throw in a few reflections of people, some smiles, some chuckles, some tears and would present me an intricate arabesque.

I know not how many people have heard it. I know not how many will hear it. But this much I know, I am glad I did.

Nights would find me listening to his voice that would take me to a world that is beautiful only because you don't live there. I would listen on, enthralled but conscious- it would end the moment he realized its too late in the night. And then, I would be sent cruelly off to bed with words, "That's enough stories for this time". It never was enough.

The Shah of Blah was not this obliging always. You never knew when you got lucky. And I knew better than to ask.

What would happen when one day as everything ends, his stories too would; I often wondered. There will be more stories, I consoled myself.

I started writing his stories as mine. A feeling of guilt existed, oh yes. But as all feelings go, you can ignore them if you want to.

Popularity is desirable. Yes.

It was a growing sin. I might not have told the stories as well as the Shah of Blah did, but I did my best.

People came and people went. Appreciation too followed suit.

But now, his stories ceased to amaze me. I knew I could do better than him. What I failed to realize was that, without his stories, I could not decorate. That I was only the superfluous storyteller… That the stories were his…

I am tired now. Of trying to better him... For people who haven’t heard him, think I am good. I alone know.

I asked him one day, “Do you tell these very stories to many people?”

He replied thoughtfully, “The stories… they reflect the listener. If I tell you kaleidoscopic stories, that’s because you bring out the color in the stories. I could tell a gray one. I could tell a white one. I could tell a black one… each different as the listener. But you, you take a part of me away with each story. Not many do that…”

Of late, his stories to me have been losing color. The shimmers no longer exist. His stories are now a shade of myriad monochromes. We wring our minds in frustration…

He tries to be a better storyteller. I try to be a better listener. We fail.

He told me sadly, “You are pushing yourself to be the best listener than you can no longer be. You are pushing me to be a better storyteller than I can be. Go now. I have no more stories to tell you. Go, before what’s left is lost. Everything doesn’t have to end on a sad note. Go, when we still have a bit of ourselves left. We need it.”

I am going. When I still have a bit of me left. When I still have a bit of his stories unshared.

37 Comments:

Anonymous thelearner said...

It was fun.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be a listener for a lifetime and you be the storyteller....

D

11:11 PM  
Blogger Ty said...

His stories or yours ?
One thing is true : "...You bring out the color in the stories".
T

3:45 AM  
Blogger Preetha Nair said...

"I Bow to thee"

5:54 AM  
Blogger BaKfIrE said...

i am fed up of givin praises....but still then..too good!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Ajay: For me too.

D: That's too much of a promise my girl!

Ty: :)) Merci!

Preetha: 'My lord..' Reminds me of the prayers in chapel!

Bakfire: Aww... I dont know what to say too!

9:57 PM  
Blogger aks said...

hey sweetheart.........
does the listener always take away those amazing colours from the story teller??????? don know with whom my sympathies are........the storyteller losing the colours tat make up his life...or the listener whose life would be colourless without those..........

an excellent one again....

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;

3:23 AM  
Blogger djnair said...

Hey dear...
Grt one this...i doubt "can imagination be so vivid?" else you better shut this up and get some published...hey (I) didnt like the last one yaar....
Keep on going......

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come back.. dont go :)
-Reva

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story/picture is not complete with just one.
loved this one.

-Sparsh

5:18 PM  
Blogger the rain tree said...

amazing stuff.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Samyak said...

I know this one. You try, but its never the same. Walk on...

9:58 AM  
Blogger Samyak said...

Can you tell me why I feel like crying, but I can't?

9:59 AM  
Blogger greenhorn said...

the sea of stories is now dry... is it... and fish, telling the story is out of space and time....

2:00 AM  
Blogger greenhorn said...

escapist......

2:00 AM  
Blogger greenhorn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:11 AM  
Blogger greenhorn said...

....or pretender are the story tellers.

4:13 AM  
Anonymous fr0z3n said...

You make me sad.

And you inspire me to write again. It's been long. Too long.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I started writing his stories as mine."

So, who is the "true" author of this blog?? Him ??

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long will we have to wait for the next article?? :(

2:59 PM  
Blogger Jubin George said...

Liked this one too.

May be, the legs were yearning for freedom from the crutches... But, may be is may not be too.

12:52 PM  
Blogger ishmi said...

lovely o stroyteller!!

4:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the next post??
When is the next post??

Please don't leave us hanging.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the next post ... the next post.....y is it that everyone yearns a sacrifice.....

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Abinu said...

Poornima, do you take these photos yourself? They too can carry ones mind away.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

goodbye, I carry away half a story

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

diwali wishes...

6:40 AM  
Blogger Project 71 said...

Hi! My name is Project 71. Weird name I know, but my masters are weird too. My masters also say that I'm a really interesting website. So why don't you consider reading what I am. Masters say it won't take you more than 22s to read. :) http://www.project71.com/readme Enjoyy!

10:54 AM  
Blogger arvindiyer said...

I have been in and out of this weird world.. Have seen many of your wonderful posts and am sure have missed more.. Like always you are one amazing storyteller and one amazing person to have coffee with!!!! Take care

10:22 PM  
Blogger Xoff said...

hey, been away. good to be back and read your stuff.

2:02 AM  
Blogger dharmabum said...

hey, busyaa? y not writing?

9:27 PM  
Anonymous kerabyte said...

hi
your pic of photos is always terrific
expect may be for the moon

5:04 AM  
Anonymous Abinu said...

You should really consider writing more often, if time permits.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous A said...

you`ve got yourself a new fan

6:41 AM  
Anonymous A said...

havent read a blog so good in a long while !!!

6:43 AM  
Blogger Supernova said...

i have lost count of number of times i have read dis post of urs...every time it gives a new meaning n understandin for smthng i was strugglin to understand.thnx :)

2:59 AM  

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